drank Thousand Arrows by Shanti Tea
1999 tasting notes

Visually, this tea reminds me of the Blink Bonnie from the now departed LeafSpa. Definitely a more interesting than usual look.

The Blink Bonnie was a green tea and this is a Sri Lankan oolong. Interestingly, Blink Bonnie was also a Sri Lankan tea — it was Indulgashinna as well. It appears that Blink Bonnie may be an estate, but it also appears that Indulgashinna makes more than its share of these twisty leafed teas.

Sri Lankan oolongs generally aren’t among my favorites, but I might have to make an exception for this one — mostly because I just looked on the Shanti site and they don’t have it available anymore.

It would be a shame not to have in my collection a tea that looks like this. It’s just too cool.

In aroma and flavor, this isn’t like the typical green oolong, nor is it like the typical dark. It has a sort of wine-like note to it, but it’s not overly sharp. I am afraid I’m relegated to describing it more by what it is not than by what it is.

Not: floral, orchid, lilac, dairy, butter, milk, toasty, roasty, woody, smoky, stonefruit

The best I can come up with is nutty-honey-grapey-wine. The tea starts out a sort of butter yellow and becomes a darker gold with repeated steepings. I rinsed and steeped in the gaiwan at 195F for 15 seconds and added 5 seconds more each time, for five steeps.

Something to hold onto until it returns to Shanti or another Indulgashinna distributor turns up — but most of its points are attributable to the visual rather than the flavor.

Flavors: Honey, Nutty, White Grapes, White Wine

195 °F / 90 °C

Sounds interesting! What-Cha used to carry teas from this estate, though they don’t seem to anymore.


It is very interesting!

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Sounds interesting! What-Cha used to carry teas from this estate, though they don’t seem to anymore.


It is very interesting!

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



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